AM Online

Quiet approach for Renault's Zoe EV

Renault will use the quietness of electric cars as its main sales weapon when it introduces the Zoe, a battery-powered small hatchback, to the UK next year.

The French company already has three electric vehicles on sale in the UK - the mid-sized Fluence saloon, the scooter-like Twizy and a Kangoo van - and has been stressing advantages such as low operating costs to try to sell them.

But with EV sales way below expectations so far, the Zoe is seen by Renault as the model which could make a breakthrough, so getting the sales message right is crucial.

"When we launch in the UK the main message is going to be one of silence," said global sales and marketing director Stephen Norman.

Norman blames the slow roll-out of a supporting infrastructure for the less-than-enthusiastic take-up of EVs so far.

"We're not pleased about the level of sales, but we are the European market leaders and, with Nissan, world leaders,' he said.

"The principal reason the market is not expanding more quickly is that the infrastructure is arriving more slowly than we thought.

"We also have work to do on our marketing communications. But what I don't see in any market is a resistance to electric vehicles on a cultural level.

"Our next task is to get off our backsides and sell them," Norman added. "We haven't been able to communicate clearly enough with potential customers about what these vehicles are capable of doing.

"We have to get people into a position where they say "Why would I not have a Zoe?"

Click here for manufacturer best practice and procurement insight

If you are not a registered user your comment will go to AM for approval before publishing. To avoid this requirement please register or login.

Login to comment


  • - 03/12/2012 14:02

    God knows it is difficult to sell these range-limited, coal-powered EVs..."do I switch on the headlamps and heating, or do I drive all the way home?"). I have managed just one Nissan Leaf so far and that came with a warning/disclaimer that it may melt my customer's house wiring and my customer had to sign an indemnity to that effect... but to try and sell an EV with a *Renault* badge? EEEK! Even normal cars with Renault badges aren't selling. Who would risk the RVs or Renaults? One (very large) dealer group told me that they have been informed if the new Clio flops than Renault will probably exit the UK. Ling LINGsCARS

  • Swe_father - 16/12/2012 21:04

    Currently saving for a Zoe. On paper it is the perfect second car for our family.